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university of tampere: faculty of social sciences: research: tampere peace research institute (tapri): research projects:
Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Social Sciences
Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI)

Solving the Arctic Paradox: Climate change, Natural Resources and Security in the Arctic

Project Leader: Dr. Teemu Palosaari, Post-Doctoral Researcher

Research Theme:

There is a growing interest towards the Arctic sea routes and natural resources that become available as the sea-ice melts. On the other hand, the global attention towards the Arctic has led some NGOs and non-Arctic states to question the sustainability and moral of Arctic oil and gas exploration at the time when humankind should reduce the carbon emissions.

The project has introduced the concept of the ‘Arctic Paradox’ to explain the dilemma regarding Arctic oil and gas resources. The faster we use fossil fuels, the sooner we get access to new under-ice oil and gas resources. In other words, hydrocarbon use contributes to the climate warming, which makes the sea-ice melt and new oil and gas resources become available. Using those resources then further accelerates climate warming.

A consequent research question here is how understandings of security change and clash along with the Arctic melt. It is argued that climate change and ethical questions related oil and gas have a role to play in the Arctic, particularly so in the era of global climate negotiations and the emission targets. Therefore it is worth analysing how various actors frame Arctic oil and gas development and what kind of problem definition, moral evaluation and treatment recommendations they promote – that is to say how they aim to solve, bypass or silence the Arctic Paradox.

The project will open up original empirical and theoretical questions concerning climate change and conflicts, as well as the ethics of global climate change. In the light of the Arctic case it is suggested that the refrain “Warmer planet – more conflicts” does not hold water.

International Cooperation:

Global Arctic project.

University of the Arctic (UArctic), Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security.

Managing Long-term Environmental Conflicts: a workshop series.

Recent Publications (selected):

  • Palosaari, Teemu & Nina Tynkkynen (2015) "Arctic securitization and climate change." In Honneland & Jensen (eds.) Handbook of the Politics of the Arctic. Edward Elgar.
  • Palosaari, Teemu (2012) "The Amazing Race. On resources, conflict, and cooperation in the Arctic." Nordia Geographical Publications Yearbook 2011.
  • Palosaari, Teemu (2014) "Landlocked. Finland's Arctic Policy." Nordic Foreign and Security Policies, conference proceedings. Copenhagen: Danish Institute for International Studies DIIS.
  • Palosaari, Teemu (2014) "Suomi - arktisesta sisämaavaltiosta globaaliksi edelläkävijäksi." Utopia ulkopolitiikassa: sarja visioita Suomen asemasta maailmassa. Toim. Ville Sinkkonen & Henri Vogt. Ulkoasiainministeriön julkaisuja 3/2014.
  • Palosaari, Teemu (2013) Pohjoisnapa sulaa kaikessa rauhassa. Futura 1/2013.
  • Palosaari, Teemu (2013) Arktinen paradoksi: polttamalla öljyä saamme lisää öljyä. Ydin 3/2013.
  • Palosaari, Teemu (2013) Arktisen alueen kansainvälispoliittinen tilanne. Maanpuolustus 2/2013.
  • Lassi Heininen & Teemu Palosaari (ed.) Jäitä poltellessa. Suomi ja arktisen alueen turvallisuus. [Finland and the future of the Arctic] Tampere Peace Research Institute & Tampere University Press, 2011.
  • Heininen, Lassi & Palosaari, Teemu (2010) "Arktisen alueen toinen tuleminen: yhteistyötä vai kilpajuoksua?" Kosmopolis 40(3), 35-49. [The Comeback of the Arctic: cooperation or competition?]
  • "Ice melts, peace prevails. The race for resources in the Arctic?" Baltic Rim Economies 4/2010.

Recent presentations on the theme by Teemu Palosaari:

  • The Arctic Paradox (and how to solve it). 8th Northern Research Forum Open Assembly, University of Iceland, Reykjavík. 15.10.2015.
  • "Solving the Arctic Paradox. Global climate change ethics and Arctic oil and gas development. EuPRA Conference, Arctic University of Norway, Tromso. 4.9.2015.
  • Ilmastonmuutos, EU ja Suomi. Ulkoministeriö, suunnittelu- ja tutkimusyksikkö. 28.11.2014.
  • Finland’s Arctic Policies. Conference on Nordic Foreign and Security Policy. Danish Institute of International Studies DIIS, Copenhagen, 25.11.2013.
  • Landlocked! Finland, EU and the Arctic. ECSA Norway Annual Conference, University of Oslo, 31.5.2012.
  • The Arctic Paradox. Jokkmokk Winter Conference, 31.1.2012.
  • The Amazing Race. On resources, conflict, and cooperation in the Arctic. ECPR General Conference. University of Iceland, Reykjavík 27.8.2011.
  • Resources, conflict, and cooperation in the Arctic. Calotte Academy 2011. Inari 27.5.2011


Teemu Palosaari
tel. +358(0) 40 190 9773
Tampere Peace Research Institute,
Kalevantie 5, Tampere
FI-33014 University of Tampere (Finland)
Visiting address: Linna building, 6th floor, room 6074



Visiting address: Linna building, 6th floor
Postal address: TAPRI, School of Social Sciences and Humanities
FI-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
tel. +358 (0)3 355 111
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Last update: 3.2.2017 10.32 Muokkaa

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